Radiant Skin From Within: Integrative Approaches to Achieve Healthy Skin
“What can I do to minimize the affects of aging skin?” This is a question we hear all the time! Experts suggest that 40% of your aging process will be in the hands of your genetics. The other 60% will be the result of lifestyle factors, including diet, exercise, sleep, and stress management, as well as your skin care regimen! Taking care of your overall health can help to improve skin health and maintain healthy, radiant skin as we age.
In this blog, we’ll dive into what causes the skin to age, as well as important lifestyle factors that can make a huge difference in the health of your skin.
The Importance of Collagen
Collagen is a key component in basically all tissues in the body. In the skin, collagen acts as a scaffold, giving the skin stability and structure. As we age, we produce less collagen and begin breaking down our collagen at a faster rate.
At the age of 18, the average person loses 1% of their collagen and elastin per year, and by the time we reach our mid-thirties, that rate doubles to 2%. As we enter menopausal years, that rate doubles again to 4% due to declining estrogen and testosterone production. Less collagen leads to a decreased integrity of the skin, and can increase the appearance of skin sagging, fine lines, and wrinkles.
Many people will not notice their skin aging until they hit a certain point — Yet the breakdown of collagen and elastin can begin as early as our 20s! Addressing the following lifestyle factors and taking care of your skin early, before the signs of aging start, can help you to maintain smoother, firmer, and youthful looking skin.
Your skin is a reflection of your overall health and wellbeing. Research has shown that stress can decrease the elasticity of your skin and can increase the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. High levels of cortisol, our stress hormone, can also increase and thicken sebum production in the skin, which can lead to clogged pores, oily skin, and acne.
Additionally, stress can impact your body’s immune response, which can increase skin reactivity and sensitivity to products and environmental factors. Stress can also aggravate skin issues like rosacea, eczema, and redness. Not to mention, when we are stressed, that can impact our sleep — and a lack of sleep can result in dark circles under our eyes! Incorporating healthy stress management strategies, such as consistent exercise, good sleep habits, or meditation and mindfulness, can help to relieve the impact of daily stressors and maintain healthy cortisol levels.
Speaking of catching those ZZZs, your beauty sleep is important! During sleep, your blood flow increases, providing the nutrients and oxygen necessary for the skin to rebuild collagen. Poor sleep can lead to an increase in fine lines, dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and reduced elasticity in the skin. We want to aim for 7-9 hours of quality, restful sleep a night, to ensure that your body has the appropriate time to repair all functions, including your skin!
Consistent exercise is one of the best habits you can build for your health. Exercise positively impacts the health of your muscles, bones, cardiovascular system, nervous system, and immune system. Additionally exercising is one of the most effective ways to boost our mitochondrial health, providing our cells with energy and fueling the collagen and hyaluronic acid production necessary for keeping our skin young.
As we mentioned earlier, it’s also a great way to relieve and manage stress, and has also been shown to promote better sleep. Working out improves your blood flow, which brings oxygen and nutrients to your skin, and flushes toxins and free radicals from the body.
There’s something to be said for you are what you eat. According to many dermatologists and medical doctors, diet can have a significant impact on your skin. Over-consuming greasy, fatty, and sugary foods can upset our GI tract, resulting in inflammation within the gut. High levels of cortisol can also disrupt gut motility, which can lead to food sensitivities and constipation, and can show up in the skin as acne or eczema. Having a balanced diet is the best way to prevent sudden clogged pores, breakouts, or skin flare-ups. It’s also important to get the right nutrients that help your skin, like zinc, fish-oil, collagen, and vitamin C!
Zinc is an essential mineral with anti-inflammatory and skin-healing properties. Zinc can be used both externally via skincare, and internally in the form of supplements. This antioxidant has been shown to accelerate wound healing and reduce inflammation such as eczema, rosacea, and acne.
Part of your skin barrier is made up of fatty acids. Having good fatty acids is necessary for supporting the cells in our bodies, supporting energy production, and for improving the skin barrier. Fish-oil supplements are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and can help to keep skin plump and hydrated.
As we mentioned earlier, our natural collagen production declines as we age. Collagen is a key protein structure in the skin, and stimulating collagen production can result in smoother, firmer, rejuvenated skin. Collagen supplements are a great way to increase this vital protein, improving the health of your skin, hair, nails, and bones.
Superfoods rich with Vitamin C can help to enhance your overall health and achieve glowing skin! Citrus fruits, like oranges and lemons, are commonly known for their high vitamin C content, but you can also reap the benefits from consuming Vitamin C supplements and foods like kale, spinach, broccoli, yellow bell peppers, kiwi, and papaya.
When it comes to skincare, Vitamin C is often touted as a must have ingredient. With its long list of benefits, it’s easy to understand why! This powerful antioxidant has been shown to brighten the skin, smooth wrinkles, promote collagen production, diminish the appearance of scars, and protect against harmful UV damage (when used with the proper sunscreen). However, not all vitamin-C’s are created equal. Depending on your skincare goals, some formulations may be better for your skincare regimen!
Like Vitamin-C, Vitamin-E is an antioxidant. It has anti-inflammatory properties, can reduce some damage from UV exposure, and is effective in reducing skin swelling, skin thickening, and redness. Vitamin E is naturally found in our sebum (skin oil), which creates a natural barrier to keep moisture in your skin. Foods that are rich in Vitamin E include sunflower seeds, nuts, spinach, broccoli, kiwi, and mango. Additionally, you can reap the benefits by using topical serums or skincare products that contain Vitamin E.
Treating the skin is just as important as treating within. And skincare routines don’t need to be complex! If it’s too complicated, are you really going to stick with it? A solid skincare regimen will do wonders for repairing and maintaining healthy skin. At Ethos, we carry our trusted iS Clinical products and our exclusive Ethos Skincare line curated by Dr. Alexandra Mayer. The majority of our patients follow 4 simple steps:
The first step is to set the foundation for healthy skin by using a cleanser that’s formulated to deep clean without stripping the skin of its natural oils. A good cleanser should balance your skin’s pH!
Next, we want to correct your skin concerns, such as acne, dryness, inflammation, or hyperpigmentation with active ingredients.
Additionally, hydrated skin is healthy skin. Moisturizers help to maintain your skin’s appearance, improve hydration, and reduce trans-epidermal water loss.
Lastly, the best way to preserve your skin and protect against UV damage is to wear a 100% physical sunscreen daily!
Unfortunately, the majority of people are picking up their skincare at the drugstore, and are using products that have no real benefit to them. In fact, many of the synthetic ingredients in drugstore skin care do nothing to support collagen and elastin production, and will actually degrade your skin faster. Getting your skin assessed by a professional is one of the best things you can do to get an individualized skincare regimen and treatment plan to achieve your desired results!
Investing In Your Skin
Achieving healthy, radiant skin is no overnight feat. While part of your genetics play into your skin’s health, there are a lot of factors that you have the power to control, to positively influence the health of your skin! The best time to start caring for your skin is now. Exercising consistently, getting quality sleep, managing life stressors, eating a balanced diet, and caring for your skin daily can help you to stay healthy and maintain smoother, firmer, and youthful looking skin.
Last but not least, aesthetics treatments such as RF Microneedling and CoolPeel are a great way to stimulate your natural collagen production, turn back the hands of time, and rejuvenate your skin! If you’re interested in getting personalized recommendations for your skin and health, consider becoming a patient with us today! Our hormone and aesthetics experts will get you on the road to achieving optimal health, longevity, and radiant, healthy skin.